Is The Criminal Bar Finally Eating Itself?

Forget the rights and wrongs of the decision by two Tooks’ barristers to start a company charging wannabes for pupillage application advice from their head of chambers, Michael Mansfield QC. And consider how it reflects on the wider criminal Bar… In the good old days, when publicly funded legal work was well-remunerated, barristers would never… Read more »

Please, No More ‘Nietzsche And The Law’! Why Americans Are Looking Enviously At The GDL Route To Legal Qualification

In comparison to our odd system of legal education – which sprawls haphazardly from the undergraduate law degree to the CILEX apprenticeship option, via the super-condensed GDL, multiple breeds of LPC and the career graveyard that is the BPTC – the US way of doing things is alluringly simple. In America, you can only study… Read more »

What Is It With Law Graduates And The Urge To Steal From John Lewis?

An LPC graduate has admitted stealing from John Lewis via a fake refund scam, just months after a trainee solicitor was found guilty of trying to defraud the retailer by similar means. On Friday, Peterborough Magistrates Court heard how Victoria Lawson stole more than £8,000 while working Saturdays in the lingerie department of John Lewis’… Read more »

The Post-BPTC Files: Starting An Internship Aged 28 ‘Wasn’t The Life I’d Envisaged’ – But It Worked Out Alright

Editorial note: Last month Gemma Amran turned the conventional pupillage hunt narrative on its head when she wrote about how not getting a pupillage hadn’t been such a bad thing for her. Here Gemma charts her journey from the BPTC to the European Commission. During the year between graduating from university and studying the GDL,… Read more »

GDL Route ‘Made Me a Damn Sight More Rounded Than If I Had Read An LLB’

OccupyTheInns backs Lord Sumption’s recent pro-GDL comments, and draws paralells between drug shame pupil Henry Mostyn and new Spurs manager André Villas-Boas After so much discussion recently about “accelerated” law degrees and legal apprenticeships, I was relieved to read over the weekend the ever-sensible Supreme Court Justice Lord Sumption standing up for the liberal arts… Read more »

‘If The Firm Was a Person, How Would You Describe Them?

Now that he’s finished the GDL, David Woodall finally has some time to sample the delights of law firms’ training contract application forms. The GDL is over. Stressful, difficult, but worth it, hopefully… I keep telling myself that even if I’ve failed and have wasted thousands of pounds, at least I have a little legal… Read more »

The GDL: Too Much Whine, Not Enough Time

Wannabe lawyers need to be more Margaret Thatcher and less Nick Clegg if they are to bag a training contract, says GDL student Kitty Law If I hear any more whining I will not be responsible for my actions. The whining to which I refer emanates from more Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) students than… Read more »

An LLM Can ‘Count Against’ Training Contract Hunters

LLMs are intellectually tough, time-consuming and not all law firms like them, warns LegalAware Students often look on an LLM as something they can do to pass a year while they look for a training contract or pupillage, boosting their CVs in the process. But the reality is that a masters degree in law is… Read more »

Does Studying Law Destroy Your Soul?

Until recently LPC student Cat Pond was an empathetic, liberal type, but the law has changed her… At the start of my GDL contract law course, the tutor told us to try and visualise the room and all the objects within it as connected by a web of contracts. The coffee cups sat in front… Read more »

Why Law Graduates Can be Choosers

GDL graduate Cathryn Kozlowski on why she turned down a paralegal job With more and more law graduates working as paralegals before commencing the Legal Practice Course (LPC), the demand for such positions is almost as fierce as for training contracts themselves. The majority of paralegal recruitment companies specify that candidates must have either completed… Read more »

File-Sharers Start Religion to Exploit Legal Loophole

Follow @DiaryofaGDL Huffington Post columnist David Woodall wonders what will happen if Kopimism catches on in Britain After jumping through a lot of legal and bureaucratic hoops, a church whose central belief is the right to file-share has been formally recognised by the Swedish government. The establishment of the Swedish Missionary Church of Kopimism by… Read more »


Follow @AlexAldridgeUK Current tough job market made to sound even worse by frequent comparisons with a rose-tinted past, says Alex Aldridge Nobody seems entirely sure how bad the current legal graduate job market is. Part of the problem is that there are so many different statistics banded around. According to recent research by the Association… Read more »


Follow @LegalCheek Top London employment lawyer Kevin Poulter thinks arts degrees are easy. Laurence Mills, an Oxford history graduate with a training contract lined up at Berwin Leighton Paisner, disagrees. And Guardian journalist Alex Aldridge reckons the whole system of legal education needs an overhaul. For #RoundMyKitchenTable on iTunes, click here For a transcript of… Read more »